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Hooker gets Sharks' No.12 jersey as Koch gets his shot

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sharks head coach John Plumtree has revealed his team for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship Round 12 clash against Ulster in Durban.

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Lukhanyo Am will once again lead the team, with World Cup-winning prop Vincent Koch set to make his Sharks’ debut off the bench.

Fellow Springbok Eben Etzebeth will start in the No.4 jersey after recovering from knee surgery last month.

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Meanwhile, young gun Ethan Hooker will partner Am in the midfield on Saturday with Siya Masuka getting the nod for the No.10 jersey.

Koch is not the only Bok on the bench. Ox Nche, Curwin Bosch and Francois Venter will all be looking to make a big impact when are called on.

The Sharks enter the match in last place in the standings with just one win in 11 games.

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Players that not available for selection due to injury include Coenie Oosthuizen, Dylan Richardson, Emile van Heerden, Fez Mbatha, Grant Williams, Marnus Potgieter, Nevaldo Fleurs, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Zee Mkhabela.

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Eduan Keyter, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Ethan Hooker, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Siya Masuka, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 George Cronje, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Phepsi Buthelezi, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Hanro Jacobs, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Corne Rahl, 20 Jeandre Labuschagne, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Francois Venter.

Date: Saturday, March 23
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 UK & Ireland time; 13.00 GMT)
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), Griffin Colby (South Africa)
TMO: Colin Brett (Scotland)

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